Cap Stone #1 takes readers on a journey into the hopes, dreams, regrets, and life of a young woman, Charlie Chance. Is it good?
Cap Stone #1 (Titan Comics)
The premise of Cap Stone #1 surrounds the fact the only superhero the world has known has proclaimed the world is in imminent danger and then suddenly goes missing. However, Captain Stone is only mentioned twice in the entire book! It leaves a bad taste in the mouth, thinking you will be reading about this superhero who has gone missing and finding out this is not the case at all!
Despite the sense of betrayal with the marketing of the book, the story is quite interesting. It reads as if from a journal or diary, where the writer is penning down a free-flow of thoughts. This style allows authors Christina McCormack and Liam Sharp to provide a deep dive into Charlie Chance’s character.
Charlie is a very interesting character; her daily activities in the mountains above Santa Barbara are strange and exotic, but thrilling and provide a sense of freedom all at the same time. Her attitude towards these activities is a whole lot of scary, but there is a hint of inevitability in it — as if she has no choice in the actions she takes and her attitude towards these actions. (Which might be even scarier!) Adding to this is her description of the land she inhabits including a giant electrified fence surrounding her property.
Halfway through the book, her story shifts from the present to a retrospective look into her past and specifically her relationship with her father. Her past is rather interesting and McCormack and Sharp provide a traumatic event that defines her relationship with her Dad. During this traumatic scene Sharp provides a rather odd choice of artwork, which depicts her Dad overlooking eight year old Charlie as she sleeps. What makes it odd or even creepy is that her Dad appears to be naked.
Sharp’s artwork throughout the issue blurs the background which provides a very psychedelic feel. Another reason the book’s artwork feels psychedelic is the sheer number of different pages with distinct artwork from previous pages. On one page Sharp draws a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home overlooking a waterfall and employing a number of different earth colors blurring into each other. Three pages later Sharp completely shakes up the page layout implementing a five panel page set on top of a completely black page background. The panels depict a number of thefts Charlie and her Dad participated in and use pink, red, black, and white.
Towards the end of the book McCormack and Sharp throw in a twist that makes the reader think the entire first two thirds may not have actually been describing who Charlie is in the waking world at all. Following this twist they try and drop a massive cliffhanger, but it falls flat because the reader does not have any attachment or awareness of who Captain Stone really is.
Is It Good?
Despite feeling betrayed by the advertising of the book, the story and character development of Charlie Chance is top notch. Her character is very relatable, but there is also a big mystery surrounding her. Liam Sharp’s artwork is really the highlight of the book providing a psychedelic setting as well as different styles throughout the book. The cliffhanger does not really work due to a complete lack of information on Captain Stone.